Company leaders pushed to step up

With the ever-growing expectation of corporate leaders and their brands across the globe to take stands on social issues, executives at all levels need to reveal their values to engage and motivate staff, prompted in part by Covid19 and the current waves of global protests sparked by George Floyd's death.

Facebook staff have publicly shared their anger at their CEO's lack of action over incendiary posts on its platform from President Trump, questioning if this leader is the right one for the business.

Whether on immigration, gun control, social injustice or health inequality, a range of corporate leaders – including Disney, Starbucks, Uber, Shake Shack and Nike – are feeling the pressure from staff and society at large to take a stand, a trend building momentum over the last 5 years.

Nike’s latest TV and social media campaign – Don’t Do It – challenges viewers to change the world and confront injustice, putting pressure on all brands to be explicit about the positions they take in realms beyond profit-making.

But not all CEO’s or Boardrooms welcome this push, for fear of alienating stakeholders ignoring the contexts in which they operate.

This trend should come as no surprise given management guru Peter Drucker predicted its arrival in the mid-1980’s.

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